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Sunday, October 22, 2017

NATIONAL COLOR DAY


From NATIONAL COLOR DAY FOUNDATION:

National Color Day is observed annually on October 22.  Color has the power to affect a mood, draw attention, even cause alarm. 
It is hard to imagine the world without color. Without color, we would nearly be blind. Doctors check for health through the color of a patient’s skin. On a late, cool autumn morning, sparkling frost and leaves changing from green to vermilion signal a change of seasons. A flush of color in the cheeks of friend sends a cue of her embarrassment. The street light turns from green to yellow, to red. In the Grand Canyon layers of sediment range in color from black to pale ash. All these signs alert us to change through color.  
Imagine a world without chrysocolla.  This mineral formed from hydrated copper phyllosilicate develops colors from a brilliant cyan to jade green.  From darkening skies before a storm to the undulating fragile glow of the aurora borealis, color in nature moves us to pause and enjoy or to warn us of impending danger.  Long before colors had names, they served a purpose.
Colors accent our homes and feed our creativity, allowing us to express ourselves.  Open a box of crayons or watercolors and artists of any age lose themselves in a world of their own creation for hours.
Different colors are perceived to mean different things. The following is one rendition of the perceived meaning of the various colors in the United States.
  • Red:  Excitement – Love – Strength
  • Yellow:  Competence – Happiness
  • Green:  Good Taste – Envy – Relaxation
  • Blue:  Corporate – High Quality
  • Pink: Sophistication – Sincerity
  • Violet/Purple:  Authority – Power
  • Brown:  Ruggedness
  • Black:  Grief – Fear
  • White: Happiness – Purity.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Explore the use of color in your life. Take in the vast and ever-changing array of shades available to you. What’s your favorite color?  Express yourself through color and use #NationalColorDay to post on social media.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

THE GRADUATE

With a group of people socializing before the beginning of a meeting, I overheard someone say, "He graduated OSU." I didn't say anything to that person as I was not part of the conversation, but the person next to me noticed my visible wince and asked, "What's wrong?" I said, "FROM; he graduated FROM!" She asked, "What difference does it make?" I said, "Because the word graduate means to be awarded a degree, not to receive one. The school graduated the student, not the other way around." She said, "But doesn't simplicity matter and if you understood what he meant, what difference does it make?"

I hate it when people are sensible!

I felt like screaming, "NO!", but I didn't. Instead, I said: "OSU graduated him; he was graduated from OSU; or he graduated from OSU." My companion reiterated that she couldn't understand the difference. I explained the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, but I could see HER wincing, so I refrained from any other comments.




See the article from Grammarphobia which addresses that topic. I was stunned that the proofreaders at The New Yorker allowed--or overlooked--this: "He moved to New Jersey after graduating college." The New Yorker is renowned for having the best proofreaders in the magazine industry.

Graduate school

Q: In the recent New Yorker piece about the father of the Sandy Hook killer, Andrew Solomon writes that Adam Lanza’s older brother “moved to New Jersey after graduating college.” GRADUATING COLLEGE? Shouldn’t that be FROM college?

A: We read the same article in the March 17 issue and had the same thought: How did “graduating college” make it through the New Yorker’s copydesk?

Pat’s feeling was that copy-editing standards at the New Yorker might have slipped a notch. But Stewart wondered if the construction had passed into standard English usage since we discussed the issue on the blog eight years ago.

We decided that we ought to reexamine this subject. So in the interest of open-mindedness, here goes.

Back in 2006, we said the verb “graduate” had evolved over the last two centuries, but not enough for this sentence to be considered standard English: “He graduated Stanford in 1986.”

Traditionally, according to our original post, there would be three proper ways to express that sentence:

● “Stanford graduated him in 1986.”

● “He was graduated from Stanford in 1986.”

● “He graduated from Stanford in 1986.”

Most of the usage guides we’ve consulted still object to a sentence like “He graduated Stanford in 1986.”

Why? Because the verb “graduate” originally meant to award a degree, not to receive one. The school graduated the student, not the other way around.

Over the years, the verb “graduate” has evolved, but usage authorities generally believe that the use of “graduate” in that disputed sentence strays too far from the original meaning of the verb.

When the word first showed up in the late 1500s, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “graduate” was a transitive verb meaning to confer a university degree.

Friday, October 20, 2017

PRECIS

We were watching the news about the expulsion of Harvey Weinstein from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

I can always rely on my brother to have a trenchant observation:

"Yeah, I see the hypocrites still have Roman Polanski as a member."

Precis!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

MARK TWAIN'S ADVICE

As family and friends would attest, I quote Mark Twain very often.  For my own amusement I just used/misused the word "very" in the preceding sentence.

I seldom use the word "very" as I follow Twain's Rule # 5.

See the article below from Richard Nordquist:

Widely regarded as the greatest American writer of his time, Mark Twain was often asked for advice on the art and craft of writing.  Sometimes the famous humorist would respond seriously, and sometimes not.  Here in remarks drawn from his letters, essays, novels, and speeches, are ten of Twain's most remarkable observations on the writer's craft: 

                10 TIPS FROM MARK TWAIN

1.  Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as you please.

2.  use the right word, not its second cousin.

3.  as to the adjective:  when in doubt, strike it out.

4.  you need not expect to get your book right the first time.  go to work and revamp or rewrite it.  God only exhibits his thunder and lightning at intervals, and so they always command attention.  These are god's adjectives .  You thunder and lightning too much:  the reader ceases to get under the bed, by and by.

5.  substitute damn every time you're inclined to write very;  your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.

6.  use good grammar.

7.  damnation (if you will allow the expression), get up and take a turn around the block;  let the sentiment blow off you.  Sentiment is for girls.  there is one thing i can't stand and won't stand from many people.  that is, sham sentimentality.

8.  use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences.  that is the way to write english;  it is the modern way and the best way.  stick to it;  don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in.

9.  the time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.  By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.

10. write without pay until somebody offers pay.  if nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this circumstance with the most implicit confidence as the sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for.





Wednesday, October 18, 2017

LITTLE BLACK DRESS



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

WHITE RAIN

I have been a caregiver since 2004 and it has been quite a learning experience for me.  My first assignment was with a woman who had been diagnosed with dementia.  Her family had decided that she needed around-the-clock care.  After the death of her husband, she had lived alone for a number of years and her family had not recognized the onset of  her dementia until one day the police called her son when she was found walking on the highway several miles from her home and couldn't remember where she'd left her car.   By the time of my assignment, she no longer was allowed to drive, had memory loss and lapses, and frequently misplaced items.   It was unsafe for her to use the kitchen range or the iron.  I was there to prepare and make sure she ate her meals, take her medicine, prevent her from wandering away, and to keep her safe.  

Her son stopped by daily as he controlled the estate.  He insisted that his mother maintain a schedule and to do chores such as the laundry.  She had obviously been spoiled all of her life, telling me that she'd always had a "cleaning lady" and she was upset that her son now expected her to do her own cleaning and laundry.  She bewailed that he didn't understand that she "needed" to visit the beauty shop to have her hair and nails "done" regularly.  She was able to bathe and dress herself, although not well, as her colors and patterns were oftentimes uncoordinated and inappropriate for the season.

My time with her was enjoyable because she regaled me with fascinating stories and gossip about prominent people of years ago when she and her husband entertained and socialized with "high muckety-mucks" of the community.  I enjoyed listening to Jeopardy! while cleaning up after dinner and she enjoyed watching Wheel Of Fortune and then, to my continued amusement, every evening she watched two episodes of reruns of Charlie Sheen's Two And A Half Men sitcom.  I would be surprised that she chuckled at the double entendres and would say, "Do you believe that?" about Charlie's character's naughtiness.

Once a week friends would come to take her out to dinner.  After being with her two weeks I noticed that she had not washed her hair.   One Friday, as she was ready to have her bath, I asked if she were going to wash her hair.  She told me that she had not washed her own hair in thirty years as she always went to the beauty shop twice a week.  She said that she had been on her way to the beauty shop when she "got lost".  

WHAT?  Never washed her own hair?  THIRTY YEARS?  I told her I would wash her hair.  I looked in the bathroom closet and there was no shampoo or conditioner. [There was plenty of  L'air du Temps products; not only was she was surprised that I knew the fragrance but also that I knew how to pronounce it.   Oh, do I need to mention that she thought everyone outside her "class" was ignorant?] I asked her what kind of shampoo she liked and she said the last time she bought shampoo she thought it was White Rain. I asked myself, "White Rain? Do they make it any more?"  I looked on the internet and learned that it was still produced.  I went to Dollar General and the White Rain shampoo and conditioner were $1.00 each.  I also bought a bottle of hair spray and a rinse which her beautician told me she used. 

She had no rollers or other hair-setting materials but I saw that she had a container of bobby pins.  I "put her hair up" with the bobby pins, dried, brushed it out, styled and sprayed. When her friends came to pick her up for dinner, they complimented her hair.  After that we had a weekly ritual of washing, tinting, and setting her hair before her dinner date. 

After her son placed her in a nursing home,  I went to visit once and although she no longer remembered my name, she told others there about my washing her hair.

Monday, October 16, 2017

MAKES YOUR TUMMY SAY HOWDY!

My brother Neil dropped off a large bag of apples and said that maybe he could have some apple pie.  I made an apple pie and Gerald shared with him.  Since then, I have cooked apples, made apple/cinnamon monkey bread, apple crisp, and apple cobbler.  

My brother Les asked, "Remember apple pan dowdy?"  I said, "Yeah, it makes your tummy say howdy!"  He asked, "Hunh?"  Naturally I had to begin singing the song.  He screaked, "TMI, TMI!"  

I got out Mother's recipe and decided to make it.  Les asked, "WTH makes it dowdy?  I thought that dowdy meant a frumpy woman."  Reading the recipe, I answered, "You have to press the dough down to 'dowdy' it--that makes it look rather frumpy;  it's called dowdying!"

My mother loved Dinah Shore and we were exposed to her entire repertoire.  Listen to the classic Shoe Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

INEFFABLE

After reading the BEAUTIFUL WORDS article, Mona Lisa asked, "What is YOUR most beautiful word?"  I answered, "INEFFABLE."  I continued, "Perhaps it's the fact that the word means that it's too great to be expressed or described in words."

I reminded her that I already wrote about my favorite words.  From Sue's News in 2016:

                              "IT'S BENIGN!"

The most beautiful words in the English language:  IT'S BENIGN!


After waiting FIVE days to learn the result of a biopsy, I was certainly relieved to hear those words "It's benign."  It's a quote from Woody Allen.


Maxim Gorky wrote that the most beautiful words in the English language are:  "NOT GUILTY!"

Dorothy Parker wrote that "CHECK ENCLOSED." are the most beautiful words.


Henry James wrote that "SUMMER AFTERNOON" have always been the most beautiful words in the English language.

I recall that years ago I read that the word "murmur" is supposed to be the most beautiful word;  I have long loved the sound of "ineffable", "mellifluous", "ethereal", "serendipity", and "ephemeral".




Saturday, October 14, 2017

BEAUTIFUL WORDS

From Richard Nordquist:
In a "Beautiful Words" contest held in 1911 by the Public Speaking Club of America, several submissions were deemed "insufficiently beautiful";  among them were grace, truth, and justice.
In the judgment of Grenville Kleiser, then a popular author of books on oratory, "The harshness of the g in grace and the j in justice disqualified them, and truth was turned down because of its metallic sound" (Journal of Education, Feb., 1911).
Over the years there have been countless playful surveys of the most beautiful-sounding words in English. Perennial favorites include lullaby, gossamer, murmuring, luminous, Aurora Borealis, and velvet. But not all recommendations have been so predictable or so obviously euphonious.
  • When the New York Herald Tribune asked poet Dorothy Parker for her list of beautiful words, she replied, "To me, the most beautiful word in the English language is cellar-door. Isn't it wonderful? The ones I like, though, are check and enclosed."
  • James Joyce, author of Ulysses, chose cuspidor as the single most beautiful word in English.
  • In the second volume of the Book of Lists, philologist Willard R. Espy identified gonorrhea as one of the ten most beautiful words.
  • Poet Carl Sandburg chose Monongahela.
  • Another poet, Rosanne Coggeshall, selected sycamore.
  • Ilan Stavans, a Mexican-American essayist and lexicographer, dismissed the "clichés" on a British Council survey of beautiful words (which included mother, passion, and smile) and instead nominated moon, wolverine, anaphora, and precocious.
  • The favorite word of British author Tobias Hill is dog. Though he acknowledges that "canine is a beautiful word, fit for a medieval greyhound in a tapestry," he prefers "the spareness of the Anglo-Saxon in England."
  • Novelist Henry James said that for him the most beautiful words in English were summer afternoon.
  • When British essayist Max Beerbohm found out that gondola had been chosen as one of the most beautiful words, he replied that scrofula sounded the same to him.
Of course, like other beauty contests, these verbal competitions are shallow and absurd. Yet consciously or not, don't most of us favor certain words for their sound as well as their sense?


Friday, October 13, 2017

FRIDAY THE 13TH

Each year there is at least one Friday the 13th;  2017 with two;  2012 and 2015 had the rare occasions of three dates of Friday the 13th.  

Just for fun, I always say that 13 is my lucky number as I am NOT superstitious.  Below is an article from Sue's News on Friday, January 13, 2017:

                          PARASKEVIDEKATRIAPHOBIA

Recently a friend told me that I was incorrect in writing that TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA is the term for the fear of Friday the 13th;  the actual correct word is PARASKEVIDEKATRIAPHOBIA.

See the article from The Urban Dictionary:  I especially like the last line:  "Though it has a serious use in psychology, it seems to exist mostly to provide an opportunity like me to show off  weird words from classical languages."

TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA
Fear of the number 13.  
Strictly, the word does refer only to fear of the number 13, but it’s often extended to mean fear of the inauspicious date Friday 13th.  Every year has at least one Friday the 13th.   The word’s origins are all Greek, from tris, “three”, kai, “and”, deka, “ten” (so making thirteen), plus phobia, “fear, flight”. The word is a modern formation, dating only from 1911 (it first appeared in I H Coriat’s Abnormal Psychology). Though it has a serious use in psychology, it seems to exist mostly to provide an opportunity for people like me to show off weird words from classical languages. I'm triskaidekaphobic (no I'm not).

Hear the song:  TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA:




Thursday, October 12, 2017

JOHNNY MARZETTI REVISITED

Unlike most women of my mother's generation, my friend Cammy's mother Dottie worked outside the home.  Dottie was not a good cook and Cammy was surprised at the greatly varied meals my mother served.   However, Dottie's signature dish was Johnny Marzetti;  she had eaten the dish at the original Marzetti's Restaurant in Columbus and when Cammy and I went to the restaurant, we naturally had to order that famous dish and we compared it to her mother's.  My mother also made Johnny Marzetti but would use noodles instead of macaroni sometimes as she liked to "jazz it up" occasionally.


Marzetti's Restaurant began in 1896 when Joseph and Teresa Marzetti emigrated from Florence, Italy to Columbus, Ohio.  With the death of Joseph in 1911, Teresa was alone to operate the restaurant.  The restaurant was a favorite of Ohio State University people and became a 4-Star restaurant.  With the death of Teresa in 1972, the landmark dining establishment closed.  The restaurant sold slaw dressings and salad dressings which are still sold in grocery stores today.  I always use Marzetti's slaw dressing.

THE ORIGINAL JOHNNY MARZETTI  RECIPE from The Ohio Historical Association:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3⁄4 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 pounds lean ground beef
3 1⁄2 cups tomato sauce
1 1⁄2 pounds cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and drained


Sauté onion in oil until limp, about 3 minutes. 
Add mushrooms and fry until juices are released, about 5 minutes. 
Add beef and cook, stirring, breaking up clumps, until no longer red. 
Remove from heat and mix in tomato sauce and all but 1 cup of cheese. 
Transfer to greased 9- by 13-inch baking dish and add macaroni. 
Toss gently to mix. Scatter remaining cheese on top. Bake, uncovered, in 350-degree oven until browned and bubbling (35 to 40 minutes). Serves 10 to 12.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

MONTY PYTHON ON BEING POOR

  1. After reading the You Had A Bed? article my fellow former member of the "Poor Mouth Club", recalling that I am a Monty Python fan,  sent the following Monty Python skit:
  2.               MONTY PYTHON ON BEING POOR

  3. Michael Palin: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o'clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for 14 hours a day, week in, week out. When we got home, our Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!
    Graham Chapman: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o'clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to work at the mill every day for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we were lucky!
    Terry Gilliam: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at 12 o'clock at night and lick the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked 24 hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.
    Eric Idle: I had to get up in the morning at 10 o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work 29 hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."
    Michael Palin: But you try and tell the young people today that, and they won't believe ya'.
    All: Nope, nope. (Monty Python, "Four Yorkshiremen," 1974)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

PUMPKIN SPICE DREAD

WHO, in his/ her infinite wisdom decided that PUMPKIN SPICE is to be the flavor du jour?  Each autumn I am filled with dread and foreboding because I know that pumpkin spice will be EVERYWHERE!  At least this year I do not feel alone as Chef Michael Symon rants about it on The Chew and my favorite comic strip Sally Forth has spent several days bewailing the trend.
 
See my favorite John Oliver on Last Week Tonight:

In 2011 I had the same feelings about the prevalence of lemon in our universe.  See that article below.

                                 LEMON-AID



Who, in his/her infinite wisdom, decided that LEMON was to be the scent du jour?  Must I have everything--from Pledge to Windex--smell like LEMON? I liked the old smell of Windex.  I even saw "lemon meringue pie" scent on candles.

Detergent, dish washing liquid, bleach, disinfectants, dryer sheets, perfume, candles, soap, body wash, moist towelettes, carpet deodorizer, deodorizing wipes, bathroom cleaner, oven cleaner, dishwasher detergent, car deodorizers, computer screen wipes, air dusters, leather cleaner, mop pads, insoles, shaving cream, paper towels, cartridge filter cleaner, nail polish, car cleaners, wood shavings for pet boxes, and ant aerosols (what do the ants care?),--all LEMON-scented.

But today it went past all sensibility--I saw LEMON-SCENTED PAINT--now one's whole house can smell like lemons.

Monday, October 9, 2017

POOR-MOUTHING

A work friend from the 1970s has become a recent Facebook friend.  He wrote, "Remember the POOR MOUTH CLUB?"  I told him that I had written about it and sent him the article below which was published in Sue's News in 2010:

                  "YOU HAD A BED?"

 You all have had this kind of person in your life--one who constantly brags--almost all of those usually just brag about material possessions, but the worst one of my acquaintances also had no discretion as he bragged about EVERYTHING. One time at work, The Braggart was telling that he and his wife were having problems in their marriage because she had come from a wealthy family and he had not.   I told him, "I think the reason that Gerald and I get along so well is because we come from the same socioeconomic background." The Braggart asked, "That's probably because you were both well-off?" I answered, deadpan, "No--we were both DIRT POOR!"  He looked at me with astonishment and pity.

Two of my fellow workers, Doug and Carl, were listening to the exchange and congratulated me on my response; they invited me to join their "Poor-Mouth Club". Each time they would hear The Braggart start to tell one of his stories, they would say, "I was so poor that......" and come up with a different rejoinder. One time The Braggart was telling about his Henredon bedroom suite and I said, "We were so poor that all of my brothers had to sleep in one bed!" Carl immediately asked, in a whimpering voice, "YOU HAD A BED?" This has become one of my family's favorite sayings and is used quite often, whenever a hint of self-pity is evident.


Another time Doug and Carl insisted that I tell The Braggart that I raised Lhasa Apsos, because he was forever bragging about his damned dogs and how expensive they were.  When I told The Braggart about my fictitious dogs, he said he'd like to buy one.  OOPS!  How to handle that?  Trying to regain my composure, there was Doug, more accustomed to fabrication, to the rescue.  He asked, "Sue, didn't you tell me that all that litter was taken?"    WHEW!  SAVED!  I told Carl and Doug I wasn't going to lie any more but they both said that of course I would because it was so much fun.  I told them that it was all futile because The Braggart did not "GET" that we were ridiculing him.


Carl had the all-time topper.  The Braggart was telling about his parents-in-law and their lavish spread of food at a recent dinner party and that they had served caviar and truffles.  Doug said that he was so poor that his family had to eat rats.  Trying to top THAT, I said that we were so poor that we had to eat MUSKRATS.  Carl, who REALLY was born in a refugee center after WW II, said, "At the concentration camp, I was so hungry I had to CHEW ON ROCKS!"  Doug and I agreed we could NEVER top that one.
Recently, I learned that our friends Bob and Connie knew Carl;  I related that perfect story. At one of Gerald's birthday celebrations last week, during the dinner table conversation, I mentioned that kids today aren't required to read and write book reports as we were in school. All the dinner guests had stories to tell of when they were students; I told how a friend of mine was accused of plagiarism. Norman told how Mrs. Craig had written on his report, "If this is actually your work, then you should become a writer." Then my friend Judy told about the time she had typed forty pages for a report and the teacher had asked from what magazine she had copied it.  Bob immediately asked, "YOU HAD A TYPEWRITER?" Everyone there except Judy knew the "You had a bed?" story and erupted in laughter. Then Judy tried to tell how hers was a used typewriter which only brought on more derision: "Was it electric?", "Did it have correction?", etc.  Poor Judy! She was bewildered.  I had to tell her the story.

 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A WHOLE MANURE LOAD

We were watching the news and the announcement was aired that Pope Francis will excommunicate some Mafia members.

Les said, dryly, "I hope he doesn't have a horse."



I so vividly remember THAT scene from The Godfather. Who could forget the yellow satin sheets, the Oscar on the bedside table, and still able to see the throbbing bleeding-out of the horse?

Les said, "But we know that there could never be another horse as good as KHARTOUM!"

We are devoted fans of The Godfather and are known to recite the dialogue and try to stump each other with trivia.  Below is a bit of a recent trivia exchange:


Sue: "How much did Woltz pay for Khartoum?"

Les:  "$600,000."

Sue:  "Wow, I wonder what that would translate into today's dollars?"

Les:  "A whole manure-load!"

Sue:  "Who put it in the bed?"

Les:  "Luca Brasi!"

Sue:  "Aha!  It was NOT Khartoum in the bed;  Khartoum had a white blaze on his forehead; it was missing on the head in the bed."

Les:  "Oh, a continuity error.  OMG! I have to watch it again!"

Sue:  "Besides, it was NOT Khartoum because that head in the bed had cataracts on its eyes!"

Les:  "WTH? I never noticed that!  Then it was an actual head?"

Sue:  "I just watched it again recently!"

Les:  "Oh, here's something you might not know: Charles, Lord Gordon, the Commander at the Battle of Khartoum, was BEHEADED!"

Sue:  "You are SICK!"

Les:  "Yes, THANK YOU!"


Saturday, October 7, 2017

STICKY SITUATION



I tried to find a glue to use on a difficult area of a project, but nothing had worked.  After using Super Glue, Gorilla Glue, Loctite, Krazy Glue, and other brands, with no success, I noticed a can of Elmer's SPRAY ADHESIVE on the shelf in the store.  

At the check out, the clerk said, "I think you're over 18.", but said she needed to check  my ID.   I was taken aback.  After a brief conversation,  I asked, "Do they really still sniff glue?"

Later, in telling about being "carded", my brother said,  "I bet you can buy bullets without showing ID." 

Oh, by the way, the Elmer's spray adhesive has worked better than all the other brands.

Friday, October 6, 2017

FALSE UNIQUENESS EFFECT

My friend Mona Lisa is dismayed by people who give unusual names to their children, as she has been beleaguered  her entire life by having an uncommon name.  Her father loved the Nat King Cole version of the song, rather than being a da Vinci devotee.   Mona says,  "I guess I should be grateful;  I could've been La Giaconda if he'd been an art lover!"

Another friend said, "I tell people to give it the President's test;  if it doesn't sound presidential, don't name them that!" (That was good advice before President Obama.)  She mused, "How does President Tiffany sound?", knowing that the current resident of the White House has a daughter with that name. 

Over the years, I have read numerous articles which tell the problems of having unusual names.  The Wise Geek published the following:

People who have uncommon names tend to be happier.  A person’s name might affect his or her happiness, because people who have rare names report higher levels of happiness than those with more common names, research shows. Researchers believe this could be the result of the subconscious desire of humans to be considered unique from others.  Research also reveals that people who have common names are likely to rate their names as being more rare than they actually are, a psychology term referred to as the false uniqueness effect.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

ONCE YOU'VE NAMED THEM



As I have written this week, I hate squirrels.  The following is an article from 2010:

                       SQUIRRELS

I would ask my brothers to bring their guns shoot the resident rabbits, but of course they don't, because they can't hunt in town.  Gerald can hardly believe that I enjoy eating "Brother Squack" (as our grandfather always called them). Grandpa called all animals he shot "Brother".  We also enjoyed "Brother Ji-Buck" (Jack Rabbit). My brother Norman told me that he remembered the last time Grandpa shot a dove and Grandpa heard its mate crying all night long, that he never shot another dove. 

Last year the snow had covered everything and I could see the squirrels trying to dig where they'd hidden the nuts. I threw out some bread scraps for the birds but there came the squirrels, scaring away the birds, and eating the bread scraps. We put out bird feed every day at the "fall display"--the bales of straw decorated with pumpkins, gourds, squash, Indian corn--to watch the birds eat. 

Unhappily for us, there they were--three of those rodents--a big one, a medium one, and a small one--scampering over the bales and eating what I'd meant for the birds.  I rushed out to shoo them away. Gerald, the old softie, said, "Oh, they look like a family." I said, "Don't you go getting sentimental on me; they're just rodents!" He said, "Yeah, yeah, I know, you always say they're just rodents with pretty tails!" 

I had sprayed the pumpkins, etc., with polyurethane to keep them pretty and perhaps keep the squirrels from eating them, but the squirrels were undeterred.  In a short time they had chewed away the fall display.

After several days of the snow not melting, I could see those dreaded creatures, struggling, digging around for the nuts they'd buried earlier in the fall. . After seeing their struggle, I left them alone when I saw them at the fall display eating the feed and the scraps. They even ate leftover garlic bread. My brother Les said, "Maybe they're Italian squirrels." The three of us would look out the window and kept seeing the squirrels get fatter while eating at the fall display.

One day, I exclaimed, "Oh, Gerald, come and take a picture; look at Chunky; he's holding the bread in his little paws!" Les wailed, loudly, "Oh, no, Gerald, come here, she's named them." I tried to slink away in embarrassment at getting caught showing affection about the rodents, but Les persisted, "Oh, come on now, what's the names of the others?"  He kept teasing, "We know you've named all of them." I sheepishly answered, "Cheeky and Chubby."  Both of them laughed and chanted "Cheeky, Chubby, and Chunky;  Cheeky, Chubby, and Chunky!  Which is which?"

Les sighed loudly and said, "Once you've named them, you can't eat them!"